The Captivating Culinary Delights of Saint Germain Catering

Four Ways to Save Money on Catering

Catering can completely transform an event, both for the host and the guests, but it can also be expensive. Caterers allow you to outsource the most grueling and stressful part of any event, the food and drink, to professionals who know how to do it right. And often, it means you’ll be able to serve unique and amazing dishes that would be hard to do on your own. So does all this have to come at a premium price? Not necessarily. Here are four of our top suggestions for saving big dollars on your catering bill.

1. Outside Catering. When you’re shopping for venues, your first question should be whether you can bring in your own catering. If the answer is no, or if there’s an added fee for that, you may want to find somewhere else to have your event instead. Many venues that routinely host weddings and other large events will have their own in-house or contracted catering service, and they can zealously guard the right to serve food on the premises. That’s understandable; it’s part of their bread and butter. But when you’re bound to one caterer and can’t shop around, chances are strong that you’ll overpay on the bill. Make sure you can comparison shop and find the caterer with the best price. The venue may even offer you a discount if you stay with their in-house caterers.

2. No waiters. When you envision a catered event, chances are you see waiters in black vests moving elegantly among white-cloth tables to deliver course after course. This is known as a “plated dinner” and it’s the most expensive kind of catering. If you’re willing to give up the waiters, there are much cheaper options available. Buffet style dinners can work even at formal events, as long as you have enough buffet tables that the lines don’t get long. Alternately, consider having different themed “stations” (the salad station, the Southern food station, the build-your-own-pizza station, etc.) so that your guests can try out different things and stick with what they like.

3. Cut back on the alcohol. We’re not saying don’t serve, but there are several ways to save big on the alcohol. If it’s allowed, purchase your own alcohol for the event. When you place a large order at a liquor store you can often get a discount, and even at the retail price it’s cheaper than what a venue bar will charge you. Your venue or catering service may charge you a corking fee to serve it, but chances are you’ll still come out ahead.

4. Downsize dessert. Dessert is overdone, and guests will already be feeling good before you try to wow them with the latest chocolate lava brulee. Consider putting out a simple dessert bar with brownies, candies and other options where they can help themselves. If it’s a wedding reception, consider using a smaller wedding cake – two or three layers is plenty – as the center of the show, with simple layer cakes in reserve to keep your guests’ sweet tooth happy.

These are just a few ways to save money on a catered event. If your event is in Northern VA or Washington DC, event experts with Saint Germain Catering would be happy to help you design an event that meets your tastes, and your budget.

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